Veronese: Magnificence In Renaissance Venice
19 March – 15 June 2014
The most significant collection of masterpieces by the Italian artist ever to be displayed in the UK, including Family Of Darius Before Alexander and the Allegories Of Love series.
Paolo Veronese was a supreme colourist, his ability to create glorious natural tones in paint made him one of the most sought after artists working in Venice in the 16th century and his talent inspired many of the great masters, including Van Dyck, Reubens and Delacroix.
Yet modern criticism has been less favourable with his reputation diminishing in the 19th century. Here, portraits, alterpieces, allegorical decorations and mythological works reveal the artist's true magnificence, his bold, colourful style reminiscent of the opulence of the Republic of Venice at the time.
Born Paolo Caliari, Veronese was apprenticed to Antonio Badile in 1541. Working originally in Verona before moving to Venice, he completed important commissions for churches, patrician palaces, villas and public buildings throughout the Veneto region, as well as aristocratic families such as the Canossa and Bevilacqua.
Important loans drawn from across the USA and Europe include The Martyrdom of Saint George from the church of San Giorgio in Verona and The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine.
Neither of these altarpieces has previously been seen in the UK. They are displayed alongside a series of Veronese's most accomplished secular paintings of the same period.
The exhibition reunites several of Veronese's works for the first time in hundreds of years. Two companion altarpieces painted for the church of San Benedetto Po near Mantua – The Virgin and Child with Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul the Hermit and the Consecration of Saint Nicholas – are displayed together for only the second time since the 18th century.
Meanwhile, the highly acclaimed Adoration of the Kings, painted for the church of San Silvestro in Venice and recently cleaned, is shown beside an altarpiece of the same subject. These pictures have not been seen together since they were in the artist's studio.